Village of Southampton, New York
“Having Questica take a lot of the administrative burden for us makes the budget process infinitely easier and takes the guesswork out of it.”
- Charlene Kagel-Betts, CPA, Village Administrator at Village of Southampton
Annual Operating Budget
125 employees serving population of 3,300
Overview of Outcomes
Southampton was able to use Questica budget to “take out the grunt work” of the budget process as well as eliminate any guesswork to ensure utmost accuracy and compliance with New York’s state law.
Tools Used: Questica Budget
Questica Budget’s operating module as well as personnel module to determine salaries and position costing.
- Web-based system with easy access for any employee from any location
- Easy-to-navigate system for advanced and casual users, i.e. department directors
- Ability to holistically analyze all employee data and collective bargaining agreements in one place
- Ability to easily correct any errors before adopting final budget
- Peace of mind knowing the budget is balanced and in compliance
Charlene Kagel-Betts, CPA, Village Administrator and Julie Krudop, Accountant at the Village of Southampton both arrived to see a minimal budget process. All that was reported was the prior year’s budget, proposed budget, and the difference with little insight into Year-to-Date results and the prior year’s end results.
On top of this limited visibility, everything at the village was manually calculated in Excel spreadsheets. With over 125 employees working for the village, a $32 million operating budget and various labor union contracts and benefits to manage, these manual processes made it especially challenging to ensure utmost accuracy. To add to this pressure, New York has a state requirement that municipalities must adopt a balanced budget. One miscalculation or mistake in an Excel cell that’s not reported in the original totals sum, and the Village could be in violation of state law.
Using Questica Budget’s operating and personnel module, Charlene and Julie were able to lead the charge in importing all of the Village’s employee and financial data, including collective bargaining agreements, benefits, and more inside a single web-based software solution.
Budgeting Even During COVID-19 Lockdown
Having the web-based program in place put the Village’s budget team at a great advantage when the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown was enforced. Since Questica was already implemented and updated to its latest version, Charlene, Julie and the team were ready to go and easily able to work from home, making updates in real time.
Making Necessary Adjustments With Improved Visibility
With the year-to-date actual and prior year actual columns, Charlene and Julie were able to track budget history, drill in and better see what each department head was actually spending. In fact, through Questica’s budget software, the team was able to determine that while some claimed they had “zero-based budgeting processes,” such departments were actually only spending half of the amount they were projecting. As a result, the Village was able to trim down such budgets accordingly and increase revenue savings.
Ensuring Community Transparency
With position and costing data available online, the Village can now improve community transparency by showcasing where taxpayer dollars are going by position within each department, salaries, and level of benefits.
“I love the export and import features. I was able to just dump data from our finance software into Questica, which saved a lot of time. We were also able to be more transparent with the village itself and the community since we were able to break down all those costs more easily than on Excel.”
– Julie Kudrop, Accountant at the Village of Southampton